Inside the head of a designer


Exchanging Knowledge
April 6, 2010, 9:05 pm
Filed under: Public Sector Design, service design | Tags: , , , ,

The Nordic conference on Service Design and Service Innovation, Servdes, is the premier research conference within service design and service innovation.  Taking place on the st-3rd December, it looked great last year, and I hope will serve up the same this year, and even more…

Servdes has a call for papers for the conference, to be submitted by June.

“The topic for this year’s conference is ExChanging Knowledge. ServDes invites contributions from researchers and practitioners that wish to contribute to the development of a knowledge base on service design, and openly discuss challenges of the field. Changing Knowledge is about investigating the fundamentals in service design and challenging the knowledge inherited from the disciplines which service design has grown out of. Exchanging Knowledge refers both to integrating knowledge from other fields and the ongoing conversation between conference participants with their various roles; consultants, students, in-house, clients and academics. The scientific programme will be composed of papers that have been peer-reviewed in a double-blind review process.”

Reading through the topics for submission and the theme of the conference, it’s great to see a move on from discussions and discovery of the topic to starting to look at the possibilities of what directions the discipline is moving in and where it might go.  The topics are interesting and I’m looking at submitting a paper (or two) detailing some of the exciting work I’ve had the pleasure of being part of in the last 12 months.  The topics are;

– the business of service design
– politics and design of services
– user involvement
– design in health-care and public services
– service design in for-profit organizations
– theoretical foundations
– the processes of service design
– rigor and relevance of research methods
– novel design tools and techniques
– service design across cultures
– design and service-dominant logic

Work that Snook has done with the ALISS project and mypolice fit into some of the topics and make for interesting developments in the public sector for new models of service delivery.  Not to mention Skills Development Scotland dipping their toes (quite fully) in the design thinking puddle and getting to grips with service design, I hope to try and rally them together to put in a submission.

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5 Comments so far
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Hey Sarah, I’d love to explore more about the potential for service design in public services – especially how the theory and thinking behind SD can influence and work alongside existing systems, processes and ideologies. I think the real challenge is in creating ways of working that value the contribution of whatever the existing service/approach is, alongside that which is brought by the designers, and ensure that both are extended as a result of the collaboration. Exciting stuff…in a geeky way 😉

Comment by georgejulian

‘both are extended as a result of collaboration’

exactly! spot on.

I wish I could show you the workshop I did today, run by Kirsty at SDS, we were using Service design theory/thinking to develop service propositions/improvements with a team in SDS.

http://twitgoo.com/n8b43 lots of ideas centered around users but with staff who organise the services. great and exciting!

Comment by sarahdrummond

Service Design seems to be a very contested field at the moment (‘contested’ is a sociological term for people squabbling about definitions and how big their d*cks are) but the topics are really important, and I think you and the Snook team have been doing stuff that would make good case studies that you could talk about and relate to both the academic theory and the humanity of it. I say go for it.

Comment by Gordon Rae

I like your explanation of ‘contested’…

Comment by sarahdrummond

Ok lady we need a geek up…let me know when you’re free and we can pick a weekend to eat, drink and talk theory and it’s application. I’ll even come to the land of the Highland Toffee if ya like 😉

Comment by georgejulian




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